Are you one of the millions of members of the Peloton community? The workouts that “empower people to be the best version of themselves”. While this rings true for the amazing workouts and technology that’s a part of the Peloton bikes, you may be at a loss if your fueling is not there. You can’t become your best or achieve your goals if you aren’t fueling your workout properly.
Fueling your workout properly will help to:
- Maximize your muscle gain
- Minimize GI upset
- Energize you to push harder
- Delay fatigue
- Enhance the body’s ability to use fat as fuel
Fueling before the workout
Depending on when you do the workout will change how you fuel. If you are working out in the morning, a simple carbohydrate will do the trick. Experiment with what works best for your body.
If you have 30-60 minutes before a workout, try fueling with one of the following carbohydrate-rich options:
- 4 dates
- 1 small banana
- 8 ounces of a sports drink
- Applesauce pouch or fruit leather
- ¼ of a bagel + 1 tsp jam
- Small granola bar
- 6 pretzels
If you workout later in the day, it’s okay to work out on an empty stomach if you’ve eaten about 3 hours ago. Again, depends on your GI system and how well you tolerate.
If you’re working out within 3-4 hours, fuel with something a little more substantial instead:
- Whole wheat slice of bread with peanut butter + Greek yogurt and berry smoothie
- Oatmeal with almonds and banana
- Greek yogurt + granola + berries
- Turkey + cheese sandwich on wheat bread with milk and a piece of fruit
Fueling after the workout
After workout fueling is also crucial. You may think that protein is the priority, but don’t forget your carbs! They will give you quick energy that your body needs to replenish carbohydrate storage and fatigued muscles. We typically shoot for a ratio of 3:1 carb to protein grams. If you aren’t wanting a meal yet, you can fuel with these snacks.
As soon as you can, (within 15-60 minutes) fuel with:
- 1 cup chocolate milk + ¼ cup almonds
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt + 1 cup cherry berry mix + ½ cup whole-grain cereal
- Smoothie with 1 cup low-fat milk, 2 cups spinach, 1 cup frozen fruit, and 1 tablespoon almond butter
- ¼ cup dried fruit and nut trail mix
- Protein shake with banana
Within 3-4 hours, fuel with a meal. If you are at a meal time after your workout, feel free to skip the above recommended snack.
For a recovery meal, try some of these options:
- Burrito bowl with brown rice, beans, cheese, salsa, avocado, and lettuce
- Stir-fried tofu + quinoa + veggies
- Breakfast wrap with eggs and veggies + fruit
During the endurance workout
If you’re doing an endurance workout, these fueling tips apply! But for an endurance workout that lasts longer than an hour, you should include additional carbs during that time.
We like to recommend carbs that are more easily digested for fueling your workout, which can include:
Don’t forget your fluids!
Staying hydrated will help in a variety of ways. You can reduce stress on the heart, maintain focus, delay fatigue, improve performance, minimize risk of heat-related illnesses, and speed up recovery. Fluid needs vary based on your activity level but also your sweat rate. Gauge how much sweat you tend to lose as well as how lightly colored your urine is. If you tend to lose a lot of water, take these tips. Two to three hours before a workout, stay hydrated with around 12-32 ounces of water, depending on your size and water loss.
Throughout the day, sip and snack on:
- Soups and broths
- Hydrating fruits and vegetables (melons, berries, pineapple, cucumber, celery, salad)
- Salty snacks (pretzels, popcorn, trail mix, salted nuts)
For a shorter workout, water will be sufficient. For a workout lasting longer than an hour or for multiple trainings per day, you may want to include a sports drink. Water and fluid needs are individual, so be sure to consult a dietitian.
The amount of each food and food combinations will vary greatly, depending on your intensity during the week and at each session. This is when it will be extremely important to take your workout routine and fueling plan to a dietitian.
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